The word holster typically calls to mind the tanned leather of Wild West cowboys or the black nylon duty belts of patrol officers.
Satin and lace and pregnancy size extenders, not so much.
An afternoon with the Gun Powder Gals just might change that.
Ask a man where he keeps his concealed carry pistol, said Candy Sugarman, founder of the local women’s shooting group, and more often than not, you’ll get the same answer.
“He’ll say in the waistband holder,” she said. “But what if you’re wearing a skirt, or a dress or palazzo pants – anything without a waistband?”
According to Sugarman, there are a number of options out there for gun-toting women. The CanCan Concealment garter holster, for instance, slips discreetly under a summer dress or pleated skirt. The FlashBang holster bra works well with plunging necklines. And the Dene Adams Corset Holster comes in a variety of colors to match every woman’s style, from Tiffany blue to black trimmed with scarlet lace.
The Gun Powder Gals will be modeling some of those options Saturday at the Concealed Carry Fashion Show at VFW Post 670.
In addition to the runway show, the event also features presentations on a woman’s role in shooting sports, local training options and knife-fighting demonstrations.
“And it’s an opportunity for local vendors in the gun and shooting industry to reach the women in our community,” said Sugarman.
A number of vendors from Fayetteville and Raeford, including Advanced Holster, Defender Ammunition, Shooters Supply and ReaGun, will be on hand to take advantage of an opportunity to reach what Sugarman said is the fastest growing demographic in the shooting industry: women.
Not that long ago, Sugarman said she was a “non-gunner” herself.
She shot her first gun on an NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape in 2009, an experience she enjoyed much more than expected, she said.
When she returned home, she asked her husband to take her shooting but it wasn’t as much fun as she’d remembered.
Looking back on the retreat, Sugarman recalled a troublesome trap shooting exercise and realized the problem.
She had tried until her arms ached to shoot the gun, which was almost as tall as herself, without success. When she finally managed to hit one of the clay targets, cheering erupted behind her.
“That kind of camaraderie and support is what was missing,” she said.
So Sugarman founded Gun Powder Gals as a way to meet other women shooting enthusiasts and create that supportive group. Six years later the club has grown to just over 300 members in Fayetteville and has sprouted a sister club in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
That kind of growth is not surprising to Sugarman.
“Women defend the home,” she explained. “We have to defend ourselves and we have to defend our children. We are the most vulnerable and we have to be able to protect what’s most vulnerable.”
And there’s no reason they can’t do it in style.
Staff writer Brooke Carbo can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3523.
Concealed Carry Fashion Show
When: Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: VFW Post 670, Doc Bennett Road
Cost: Tickets $25 per person, available at eventbrite.com. Raffle tickets for a SIG Sauer firearm are $20; proceeds benefit the Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County.